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Poultry other than chicken or turkey

When I visited farmers markets in France, I saw farmers selling all sorts of birds.
Do you ever cook anything other than chicken or turkey? Do you cook birds like quail, pheasant and squab at home?

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  1. Duck, goose, and game hen are commonly found in American supermarket freezers. Upscale supermarkets and specialty markets carry other game birds. Many Chowhounders hunt their own game.

    I have roasted duck and game hens.

    1. Never attempted the birds you mentioned. I have roasted a duck though (whole duck and duck breasts) with wonderful results. The duck fat alone is worth the effort!

      1. Enjoy hunting grouse, woodcock and pheasant along with the occasional quail. Quail and grouse are the easiest and more forgiving to roast.

        Had I access to them, I would happily bag a few well-rasied pigeon, duck or goose. Very fun to cook very fun to eat. More so when you have regular access. Makes it less of a daunting prospect.

        1. Have done duck, goose, squab (pigeon), partridge (quail) and pheasant but we are fortunate to be surrounded by hunters and my brother who raises many birds (and rabbits but that is a different topic).

          1. Duck is on the menu almost as often as chicken -- I buy it by the case, both whole and breasts.. Quail relatively frequently, squab & pheasant occasionally due to their priciness. Did Christmas goose years ago but switched to prime rib.

            Seldom if ever use cornish hens -- not sure why.

            1. We used to eat squab, quail and cornish hens more often, but nowadays we've stuck solely to chicken or duck with the occasional quail egg and goose pate. I've been also meaning to add guinea hens to the rotation.

              1. Wild ducks, geese, quail, dove, turkey. ~~ The little Cornish hens are fun to fry whole.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Uncle Bob

                  Haven't hunted in a while, but we used to chicken fry a whole quail, and dove we'd wrap the breast in bacon and bake with a little red wine.

                  1. re: James Cristinian

                    Fried quail is good eats....Not as easy to come by as they used to be...Fire Ants, Coyotes, Ag chemicals etc. have taken their toll.......Dove breast wrapped in bacon and grilled is very popular here.

                  2. re: Uncle Bob

                    "The little Cornish hens are fun to fry whole."

                    Aren't these really small chickens or are they a completely different kind of bird?

                    1. re: wineguy7

                      They are small broilers....Not a breed, but a hybrid cross.

                  3. wow, i wish i knew a hunter.

                    1. I've made game hen and duck breasts and did my first whole duck last year. I also found a pheasant in Whole Foods a little over a year ago and I cooked it in red wine and onions and mushrooms.

                      I know a deli where I can buy quail and I'm dying to try cooking them. Not sure how I should prepare them though. I've had them twice in restaurants and I remember thinking they tasted similar to duck. I've had duck lovers tell me they're awful and that they taste like organ meat. Now I'm sort of afraid to trust my memory.

                      1. Chicken, turkey, and duck all the time.

                        Pintade (guinea hen) when it's on sale or it's a special occasion.

                        Quail not all that often, just because it's futzy to eat. Pheasant, partridge, and squab are largely available only at Christmas, as is goose.

                        And I'd say my friends and neighbors in France follow that fairly closely.

                        1. I have made duck and would love to do squab, a gorgeous red-meat bird. Guinea hens are seen at grocers around here and duck.

                          1. Guinea fowl are becoming more available in US now. While not as strong as game or as dark as duck/goose, there are a nice alternative to the regular poultry sold here.

                            1. Well, I would consider "poultry" to refer to domesticated birds, rather than game, just to be clear.

                              But I try to roast at least one goose a year (easiest time to get them fresh is around the Jewish High Holy Days and Chanukah, where their fat was welcomed by central and eastern European Jews who did not have ready access to olive oil...) to render the fat for future use. Duck, too, but goose is even better if more "waste".

                              I would love to get fresh guinea hen. Someday.

                              Love fresh capon - which is "chicken" but much better for roasting than turkeys or large roasting chickens.

                              Quail en sarcophage or Ortolan anyone?....

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Karl S

                                Just had becasse, smuggled into country in coffee can, yum

                              2. My stew tonight included pheasant and pigeon, bought from the farmers market. Pigeon breasts often feature in dinners. As does duck (both farmed and the various wild sorts like mallard and teale) and guinea fowl. Partridge gets bought on the rare occasions I come across it. All generally much more fun to cook and eat than chicken.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: Harters

                                  Sounds wonderful, Harters! I use all the game I can as well, whenever I can. Totally agree that it is more fun to cook and eat than chicken. It really expands your culinary repetoire and palate.

                                  1. re: Harters

                                    so where do you get the recipe for pheasant and pigeon stew? the local farmer or do you pelpal with some random french farmer. lol

                                    1. re: Monica

                                      Stew doesnt really need a recipe (and this certainly wasnt French in its nature). I browned the meat (which also included venison), shallots and some celery. Deglazed the pan with a glass of red wine, which I reduced right down. All that went into a casserole, along with some stock, salt, pepper, dried thyme (it was raining hard and I couldnt be bothered cutting fresh), parsley and the leaves from the celery. It then went into the oven for a couple of hours.

                                      1. re: Harters

                                        partridge, pheasant and venison?

                                        Oh, be still my beating heart. (Hart? Harters? :D )

                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                          I take it game isnt easily available where you are? :-0

                                          1. re: Harters

                                            It is...just that recipe sounds really, really delicious.

                                            Game is plenty available here (France) - but that combination wouldn't exactly be a budget option.

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              I didnt say it was budget option :-0

                                              Game at the supermarket is expensive here (approx €15 per kg). Game at the farmers market is much cheaper. Rabbit from a guy I know who shoots them as pest control for a farmer is even cheaper - free.

                                              1. re: Harters

                                                the crazy thing for Americans is that game is frequently cheaper than beef here...rabbit is in cellophane-wrapped styrofoam trays right next to the chicken, for roughly the same price (4-7E per kilo, depending on whether it's whole or parts, and on special or not)

                                                Quail can usually be found on special for about 1 euro per bird (packaged in 8s or 10s)

                                                Pintade is on the other side of the chicken from the rabbit, and runs about 6-7 euros per kilo

                                                Duck runs 12-15 per kg (but it takes only a half a kilo to make a meal for a family, as it's rich)

                                                At Christmas it gets crazy - I can buy goose, pheasant, rabbit, wild ducks, several species of deer, wild boar, kangaroo, bison, ostrich, antelope...it's a regular zoo in the butcher's case (and that's at the supermarket -- at the market there's just as wide a selection, but it's all wild and freshly killed; usually hanging from a hook and still wearing feathers or fur)

                                  2. I am a big Cornish game hen person. They are perfect for two people. I buy one and butterfly it. It's a very quick meal. "Tastes like chicken" though :)

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: sedimental

                                      They do taste like chicken but they are fun and sort of cute, too!

                                      1. re: chefathome

                                        I think they are cute too! Sometimes I "pose" them on the counter in a sitting position ( with little hats and scarves or holding a fork) to freak out my kids. It works :)

                                        1. re: sedimental

                                          Ha ha! That visual made me giggle out loud.

                                          As cute as they are, they are certainly not too cute to eat! :-D

                                      2. I second the appreciation of Guinea hen (male and female are refered to as hens in this case). In Italy, Faraona, are staples of the Sunday Dinner. A nice roast Faraona with its dark meat makes a truly tasty and memorable dish. It is quite difficult to find fresh Guinea hens in the U.S. Sure you can get them frozen and air shipped for upwards of $60.00 from D'Artagnan. I tried raising them from Keets, (day old chicks) and that gets old too quickly. If anyone knows of a reliable source in Florida, let me know. We will travel many miles for fresh Hens!!!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: ospreycove

                                          Osprey, go to Apollo Meats in Apollo Beach and ask Steve or Rita if they can source some for you...she keeps magret, rabbit, and capons in her freezer case (great butcher shop, by the way, and their homemade sausages rock)

                                          If that's a bust, try Oceanic Market in downtown Tampa- they have some things I've never found anywhere else (fresh quail eggs! From a farm in South Shore somewhere, but I never found it.)

                                          The only other one I can figure is the folks at Rolling Pin in Brandon...or the Pates might raise you some at their place if you asked nice.

                                          You might also try My Mother's Garden in Wimauma - they run a small organic co-op that orders things in.

                                          And darnit...there used to be a co-op poultry farm up by Gainesville a few years ago, but I've lost the bookmark and can't remember the name. If it comes to me, I'll repost it....

                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                            Sunshine842 Thanks for the info. I know and buy from Ben Pate, when he is dressing out his delicious chickens, he also has some rabbits, but no guineas. Can't wait to get to Apollo Meats!!!! My Mother's Garden has a booth on Sat. at the Sarasota market will check with her. Thanks again!!!!!

                                            1. re: ospreycove

                                              Expect to wait a bit if you go on Saturday morning -- they're well-loved, and have been in AB for going on 30 years, so their tiny little shop is SLAMMED on Saturday morning. Take a number from the top of the display case next to the register, and wait until your number is called...they usually have 7-8 people behind the counter on Saturdays, and they need every one of them. Ooh, and they're closed on Mondays.

                                        2. Back when I still ate meat, and actually during my "transition" phase, I ate ptarmigan / grouse once. People also eat Turr where I'm from, but I don't recall ever eating it.